TikToker’s ‘realistic, non-aesthetic’ morning routine shows life with depression

A lawyer on TikTok posted a brutally honest approach to the morning routine trend to demonstrate what living with depression can be like.

Henna (@18hens) is a 27-year-old Toronto-based lawyer with over 119,000 followers on TikTok. On the platform, she documents her daily ups and downs while dealing with anxiety at a high-stress job. But it was her take on her morning routine video that caught the attention and empathy of millions of people.

The voyeuristic trend of watching people’s morning routines has been around for years. Seemingly after the rise of the aspirational but unachievable “That Girl” TikTok trend, more and more people have been showing off morning routines. Over 7.5 billion people have watched the #morningroutine tag on TikTok that features activities like effortlessly getting up early, working out, drinking a green juice and maybe journaling — all before starting the workday.

But Henna’s take on the trend is different. It’s a “realistic morning routine of a lawyer who is depressed,” which might sound too specific to relate to at first, but many of her 13,000 comments celebrate the “authentic” nature of the video.

“This is my very realistic, non-aesthetic morning routine,” Henna narrates in the video. “Took me half an hour to get out of bed so I was very late this morning.”

Henna continues on to say she washed her face to help her wake up, but she didn’t brush her teeth. To skip steps and save time, she also mixed her moisturizer and foundation and applied them all at once.

“My latte also exploded in the microwave, very on-brand,” she says. “I’m really not doing well, please don’t judge me.”

She added some contour to her face to cover up how bloated she felt she looked after a night of drinking.

“Putting my hair up millennial-style, OK? None of that ‘clean girl’ slicked-back bun s***,” she explains. “I put on some earrings, though. Good for me.”

In another TikTok, she filmed a different morning routine and talked about how she’s not always depressed.

“I’m trying to bring attention to the reality of living with mental health issues,” she says in the clip. “Not only does depression have varying degrees, but people themselves are different. … By thinking depression can only be one thing, you are part of the problem.”

Henna also addressed comments that accused her of faking depression for views.

“People struggle to take care of themselves and their hygiene, yet they function perfectly at work, they smile in front of their friends and family and they post on social media,” she says. “I’m a person first.”

Almost 9 million people watched Henna’s first video and commended her for breaking the trend of aesthetically pleasing morning routine videos.

“I’m so thankful for the realistic and authentic representation of being depressed while having a ‘successful’ career and doing okay from the outside,” one person commented.

“I hope you know how much this helps people to see you being so honest, including myself,” another wrote. “Nearly brought me to tears.”

“It makes me feel so human to know other people feel this way sometimes too,” someone added.

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